So, as you saw in the video, the top three girls in the Base Women at this past weekend’s Coconut Cup Series Race at Oleta State Park were neck-in-neck. I had no real idea what to expect of my race, and therefore had no real expectations (note: being a competitive person, I always expect to do decently well). I knew that the FL State Base Womens Champion was racing against me (she won that series championship, so, would most likely be upgrading any minute), I also recognized one other girl from seeing her on the trails the day prior riding with local badass Jennifer Moos. I knew it wouldn’t be an easy race, but I hoped that I would do well.
The start whistle sounded and we took off. I knew that from being a “roadie” I could handle the sprint. Mountain bike racing, for those of you who don’t know, STARTS with the sprint–unlike road racing, that typically ends with the sprint. This sprint had a short straightaway, followed by a 90 degree right turn, another straightway, and then two tight 90 degree turns around trees before you cross a road and head into the trails. Lucky for me, I had already scoped out this starting chute and was ready for some tight bike handling. Also lucky for me was that my competition had clearly NOT scoped it out (or had not committed it to memory)– and ALL 7 other girls in my category went flying different directions into the course tape and had to re-enter the chute before they could continue racing. So, I entered the first trail, Strangler Fig, as race leader. In my head, I had planned on racing (at least the beginning of the race) in 3rd. The plan HAD BEEN to sit back, watch as things developed, and make my move when I felt ready and when the time was right– start throwing 7 different kinds of smoke at the competition.
Now, I had the pressure of the lead–not what I wanted. I ended up being happy to be in the lead on the first trail as I heard the girls struggle on areas I had once struggled on (one area in particular that Ironman Danish made me re-ride probably 10 times the day prior until I nailed the section every time). We had two laps to race, and at the end of lap one, we ALL came into the line together–it was like restarting the race. No problem I thought. I had some reserves in the tank and knew that I had them on the tight bike handling section after the line. I lead into the first trail again (after they again whiffed/had issues with the turns). I lead almost the entire lap until one fateful climb(Oyster Ridge). Unfortunately, I fell and the girls who ultimately won did not.
At least she beat me at mountain bike skills…and now I know what I need to work on….
Of course, it does NOT help that gazing at you from the top of the very rooty and rocky intro climb is a 4ft tall CREEPIER than CREEPY clown holding his head (severed of course) over his shoulders…picture the clown in this commercial but taller, creepier, and more twisted:
I am pretty much blaming the clown for my ultimate demise in the race (well, and of course my lack of skills). I tried like hell to chase her down after my fall, but working on less lungs than usual, I had to ultimately settle for second. Now, working on lung recovery and my skills, I am ready for my next race (assuming there is no clown).